In a patent approved today by the USPTO, we find detailed information on a project that Apple has had in store for a long time, considering that the submission of the application is dated 2016. Inside the documents contained in the patent, there is information on a new design that could come in handy in making an iPhone with a foldable display.
The Cupertino company continues to explore all the possibilities to create a foldable iPhone, and this is also demonstrated by the series of recent patents regarding other devices that can be folded, such as the iMac.
Among the schemes, a new system made of folding tabs that would allow a more robust closure, to protect but also support the display, stands out. One of the biggest difficulties, when designing a flexible smartphone, is to avoid that the thin flexible film can crease, creating an unsightly crease along an axis, which in the long run could weaken its structure and cause its definitive breakage.
Apple works on the display for a more robust foldable iPhone
This is the case, for example, of the problems encountered with Huawei Mate X and Samsung Galaxy Fold, which took months to arrive on the market, precisely to correct the shot and ensure a high-level experience that lasts over time. Motorola’s upcoming RAZR will also use a flexible display and features a special zipper on the sides that helps prevent crease formation.
The hinge designed by Apple allows the screen to extend when used in flat mode; when the time comes to be folded, the hinge leaves a fairly small but vital space in the most delicate point of the screen, which can accommodate the same with a greater radius of curvature.
This space created by the mechanism allows you to not create any wrinkles or creases when the screen is folded, while the flexible tabs allow you to more firmly support the screen when it is opened, solving two problems in one.
Obviously, as always remember that an approved patent does not ensure that the technology will actually arrive on the market in a consumer product. Apple is certainly interested in the development of solutions for folding devices, but if in the future plans there is an iPhone with a folding display only time will tell us.
Surely, we will not see any innovation during 2020: the road for Apple seems already traced, with four new iPhones that will arrive on the market, with support for 5G mmWave technology and a design reminiscent of that of iPhone 4s.
Source – Apple Insider